Sunday, April 30, 2017

My first time at Malice Domestic

By Gemma Doyle from the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany

The influence of my mother perhaps, who comes from a family of minor (and largely disgraced and impoverished) English aristocracy, but I don’t get excited about much.  

But I am excited about this weekend. As a bookseller, I go to a lot of trade fairs and book festivals, but I have never been to Malice Domestic, a conference for cozy mystery readers and writers held each year in Bethesda, Maryland.  Heck Bethesda is just down the coast from Cape Cod, but I’ve never been.

Perhaps I’m excited this year because I am going to be on a panel on Sunday morning. By the time you read this, the panel is probably finished, but maybe you got to it in time.

The panel is at 10:00 and is titled Sherlock Lives.  We’ll be talking all things Sherlock Holmes and wondering about his enduring popularity.  No one is keener than me on keeping The Great Detective popular. I do own a Sherlock Holmes themed bookshop, after all. I might not be an expert on all things Sherlock, but I know my bread and butter.

If you come to my panel you might not recognize me.  I’ll be in disguise as the Canadian mystery author Vicki Delany.  Meaning a lot older than me.  But, just to give you a clue, I’ll be in this hat.

Vicki Delany (right) with fellow author and good friend Linda Wiken

Hope to see you then

Meet Gemma Doyle, Jayne Wilson, and all the gang in the new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series by Vicki Delany, from Crooked Lane Books. The first book in the series, Elementary She Read, was released on March 14. The first chapter of the book is available free of charge at Look for Body on Baker Street in September. 

Find Vicki at:
Twitter: @vickidelany

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Vintage Toy Word Search

Character: Liz McCall
Series: Vintage Toyshop Mysteries
Author: Barbara Early

While the cat's away, it's time for you to play! 

In other words, while many of the authors of Killer Characters converge on Malice Domestic (a convention celebrating the traditional mystery), I've left you a devious little puzzle containing the names of 20 vintage toys that Liz McCall told me she always has on hand in the shop.

The bad news? I'm not giving you the list of words.

The good news? You only have to find five of them.

The better news? You could win a fabulous mystery swag bag filled with items collected at the conference!
How to enter:

Find five toys in the puzzle. 

Enter them in the Google Form I've created: here. Please don't post the words below!

Once I've returned home and unpacked and started my laundry (Think Tuesday, May 2nd), I'll randomly choose a winner from the correct entries.

Have fun!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Jazz It Up in Jewel Bay! #bookgiveaway

The Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries
by Leslie Budewitz

To celebrate the return of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries with book four, TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST (June 8, 2017, Midnight Ink), I'm offering two signed copies of the first in the series, DEATH AL DENTE, winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Leave a comment below to enter. 

The annual Jewel Bay Jazz Festival returns!

Visit Jewel Bay, the gem of a village on Eagle Lake in Northwest Montana, for a week of jazz featuring all your favorite styles, from guitar to brass to Gypsy jazz and more!

The fun begins Sunday in Riverfront Park with a sampling of the week’s offerings, including international guitar sensation Gerry Martin. Bring a picnic, kick back, and drink in the music in a sparkling outdoor setting.

Concerts continue nightly in the Playhouse, where treasured artists from across the country will entertain you. Don’t miss the student concerts and open mic nights scattered around the village, where you’re sure to discover a diamond in the rough—or two.

While you’re visiting Jewel Bay, the Food Lovers’ Village, enjoy breakfast at the Jewel Bay Inn, linger over coffee and genuine French pastry at Le Panier, and visit the Grille for the best Reubens this side of the Rockies. Dine at the Inn, Applause, or Chez Max, or take home a picnic basket stocked with delectable taste treats from the Merc.

Shop in the village for books, children’s toys and clothing, and more. Jewel Bay’s galleries feature painters, potters, glass artists, and sculptors from around the region.

Hike, fish, kayak, sail, golf, and enjoy the wonders of Glacier National Park, only a thirty-minute drive.

You’ll take home more than treasured memories when you visit Jewel Bay, Montana’s crown jewel!

Tell me about a music festival or concert you particularly love or remember!   

Leave a comment below for a chance to win two signed copies of the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, DEATH AL DENTE, winner of the 2013 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. US and Canada only. Winners will be chosen May 1, 2017. 

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Cupid Strikes Cranberry Cove? #Giveaway

By Gina Albertson
From Peg Cochran’s Cranberry Cove Series
                I’m Gina Albertson and I own an aromatherapy shop in Cranberry Cove where my son and step-daughter live.  It’s a nice little town with a main street called Beach Hollow Road where there are a number of shops including Bart’s Butcher, Gumdrops, the Cranberry Cove Diner and a place called Twilight run by Tempest Storm.  It’s a new age shop and if there’s any place the locals are less likely to visit than an aromatherapy shop, it’s a new age shop.

                We do okay though thanks to the tourist trade.  It’s June and people are beginning to come to town although the temperature of Lake Michigan is still too cold to tempt me into the water.

                I was rearranging my vials of essential oils when the door opened and Tempest breezed in.  She was wearing a dark blue caftan and had a large amulet hanging from a silk cord around her neck.

                “Look what I’ve brought,” she said as she approached me. 

                She reached into her oversized tote bag and pulled something out.

                “What’s that?”  I said, pointing to the box in her hand.

                She gave a wicked smile.  “A Ouija board.”

                I laughed.  I remembered playing with one of those when I was a kid.  Betty Sue next door and I used to ask it to tell us who we were going to marry.  One time it spelled out the name George and poor Betty Sue burst into tears because the George in our class was short with pimples and glasses.

                Tempest moved aside some things on the counter and set up the board.

                “What are we going to ask it?” I said.

                She made a dramatic gesture.  “I feel as if romance is in the air, don’t you?”

                “I did just meet the most delicious man in Book ‘Em the other day.  He’s a writer.”

                “Let’s see what the board says then.”

                Tempest rested her fingers on the planchette and closed her eyes.  “Is there going to be a romance in Cranberry Cove?” she said in a serious voice.

                The planchette began to move.  I wondered if Tempest was moving it herself to fool me.  Slowly the word yes was spelled out.  We thought it had stopped moving, but it began to move again and this time pointed to the numeral 2.

                “See,” Tempest said, opening her eyes.  “Not one romance but two.” 

                She put her fingers back on the planchette and closed her eyes again.  Once again, it began to move, this time spelling out the word wedding.

                Tempest gasped.  “Looks like there’s going to be a wedding in Cranberry Cove,” she exclaimed.

                I pointed at the Ouija board.  “Two if that thing is to be believed.” 
Have you ever played with a Ouija board?  What did it tell you?
Look what came in the mail! 
Dead and Berried will release May 2 but I am offering one copy to someone who leaves a comment below!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Old Billy in Leap

by Billy Sheahan, from Sheila Connolly's Cruel Winter (County Cork #5), released last month.

Maura’s been tellin’ yeh that it’s been near a year since she came to Leap and found herself runnin’ a pub she’d never heard of. I’m proud of the girl—she’s done her gran proud.

I’ll take a bit of the credit meself. Yeh see, I knew her her family, years ago, here in this corner of Ireland. Her gran, Nora Donovan, was widowed young, and took herself and her young son to America, hopin’ fer a better life. It was the right thing to do, I thought, although it couldn’t have been easy fer her.

Things went well, until her Tom died in an accident, leavin’ a wife and a small child—that would be Maura. And then the wife took herself off without a word and Nora never heard from her again. She was left to raise Maura and keep a roof over their heads, which she did. She did right by Maura.

And she planned fer Maura’s future. Old Mick, who’d owned the pub here as long as anyone could remember, was a cousin of sorts. He had no one to leave his property to, so he and Nora fixed it that Maura would get it all. Maura arrived a year ago because her gran had asked her to, and found she owned a pub. And a house as well. It was no sure thing that she’d stay, but she decided to try to make a go of runnin’ the place, even though she’d never seen Ireland in her life, nor had she run a business of any kind. 

Maura's pub

But Maura’s smart—not in the book sense, but in understandin’ people and how things work. She’s done more than keep the place goin’—she’s brought in new business. She’s made friends. And she knows when to ask fer help if she needs it—that’s a rare thing. I hope I’ve been able to help her, and I’m pretty sure her gran is lookin’ out fer her.

Outside the pub

About Cruel Winter: Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons--and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura’s been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she’d never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan’s reviews the facts and theories about the case--and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Going to the Mainsail Art Festival! #BOOKGIVEAWAY!


Character:      Savannah Webb
Series:           Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
Author:          Cheryl Hollon

Hi there, I’m Savannah Webb, owner of Webb’s Glass Shop on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida. I'm planning to visit the Mainsail Art Festival on Sunday afternoon. This long-running event marks the end of our glorious winter season and the beginning of the hot days of summer. 

Mainsail Art Festival started in 1976 when the city's Bicentennial Committee, the Saint Petersburg Recreation Department and the new Saint Petersburg Arts Commission joined forces to sponsor the "First Annual Saint Petersburg Sidewalk Arts and Colonial Crafts Festival." 

For the second show, the name was shortened. "Mainsail" was chosen in 1977 to convey the event's importance, its excitement and marina setting on the waterfront South Straub Park.

This year marks the 42nd Anniversary of the festival. More than 100,000 visitors come to enjoy and purchase quality art and enjoy top name entertainment. The Mainsail committee of hard-working volunteers produces this festival exhibiting artists competing for $60,000 in prize money. 

Mainsail will be held on Saturday 9AM - 6PM and Sunday 10AM - 5PM. The weather forecast is perfect. Sunny, but cool with low humidity. I hope to see you there!


You can read more about Savannah in Cracked to Death, the third book in the Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries, published by Kensington Books. Available at your favorite book vendor.

About Cracked to Death:

When a treasure hunt leads to deadly plunder, it’s up to glass shop owner Savannah Webb and her trusty investigative posse to map out the true motives of a killer . . .

It's the dog days of summer in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Webb's Glass Shop proprietor Savannah Webb has an eco-friendly plan to help locals escape the heat--a recyclable bottle-crafting workshop taught by reticent store manager Amanda Blake. Turns out, the class is a bigger smash than expected, thanks in part to a pair of staggeringly old bottles brought in by snorkeler Martin Lane . . .

Linked to a storied pirate shipwreck, the relics definitely pique Savannah's interest. But intrigue turns to shock when Martin's lifeless body washes ashore the next morning, another glass artifact tucked in his dive bag. With cell phone records connecting Amanda to the drowning, Savannah must voyage through uncharted territory to exonerate her colleague and capture the twisted criminal behind Martin's death . . .


There's a #BOOKGIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and your email address in the form of name(AT)server(DOT)com to avoid the SPAM bots. Do this by midnight on April 25 for the chance to win a signed copy of your choice of Pane and Suffering, Shards of Murder, or Cracked to Death. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes.

Meet the author:

Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

Visit Cheryl and her books at her WebsiteFacebook or Twitter

Sunday, April 23, 2017

You Can’t Keep a Good Ghost Down

by Kath Rutledge from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae

Have you ever tried concentrating while someone’s flying around the room? I mean, literally, Geneva is flying around and around and around the room. I’d ask her to stop (because she’s beginning to make me dizzy) but how can I do that? She’s so excited—or in her words (at the top of her lungs)—“I HAVEN’T BEEN THIS HAPPY SINCE THE DAY BEFORE I DIED!”

Well, okay, that sounds kind of macabre, but it’s probably true. Geneva’s the ghost who came to stay at The Weaver’s Cat, my fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee. She was pretty depressed when I met her in Last Wool and Testament. But through the adventures we’ve shared, in four other books, she’s gradually been coming to terms with her “situation.”

But why is Geneva so excited today? Because we have news to share, and I promised her that she can be the one to tell you. Be prepared, though, because she’s still flying around the room. Are you ready, Geneva?   
So there you have it. We’ll all be back and solving mysteries again in Crewel and Unusual and Yarned and Dangerous. We ask your patience, though, because our author has to write the books before you can read them. But we’ll keep you posted on her progress. Now here’s Geneva, again. She has one more thing she’d like to tell you. 
Molly MacRae is the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest, connect with her on Twitter @mysteryMacRae, or find her the first Monday of each month at Amy Alessio’s Vintage Cookbooks and Crafts

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Meet Gertie - Labrador pup and detective's Cathy Ace

Hello, I'm Gertie

Hello from Gertie, black Labrador puppy extraordinaire!

Welcome to my home, the village of Anwen-by-Wye. Yes, I’m a Welsh dog, even though I’m a Labrador (I understand that’s a place somewhere in Canada, but I don’t know what that means). 

My litter mate, Rosie
My mum is Annie Parker. I live with her in a little thatched cottage that overlooks the village green. We walk across the green to visit my litter mate Rosie who lives with Tudor Evans at the Lamb and Flag pub. My coat is gleamy and smooth and black, Rosie’s coat is yellow and a bit rougher than mine – I shine in the sun, she doesn’t. 

We’re lucky to live so close to each other, and we’re lucky our Humans are friends. We also both get to play with McFli – he’s not like us; we’re just pups but he’s old, and usually a bit grumpy. We’ve been with our Humans for less than a year; he’s been with his for over twelve years, a long time for a dog. 
McFli runs a lot, even though he's old

His Human is a dowager duchess, and she works with my Human – they’re detectives, and sometimes we all get to go detecting with them. Not always, because – so they say – it’s too dangerous for pups. I don’t know what that means, but sometimes Annie comes to get me and gives me a big hug and tells me how glad she is I stayed away from the trouble she’s been in. 

That happened to McFli not long ago too – everyone hugged him and hugged his Human even harder; they all cried and said how glad they were she was safe and sound, and how things could have been much worse for her. No one will tell me what that means, not even when I look my cutest and try to get it out of my Human. If I keep trying, maybe I’ll break her one day soon.
Me and my sister - best friends and detective dogs!

Find out what happens to Gertie’s Human, and McFli’s Human, in The Case of the Curious Cook: click here for more

Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#3, The Case of the Curious Cook, was released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th and in the USA & Canada on March 1st).  You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Leave It To Cleaver New Cover! #bookgiveaway

By: Jaymie Leighton
From: Leave It to Cleaver
Series: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Pub. Date: June 2017
Webpage: Victoria Hamilton Mysteries

Have you ever had one of those days, when everything in your life changes in a snap? That's what happened to me a few months ago, and now my life is about to get wonderfully complicated!

I'll leave it at that for now, but there is something important I learned at the same time; even when everything in your life changes, simultaneously, nothing changes. The dishes still need to be done and the dog walked, work still beckons and friends still call, family still needs you and bills still need to be paid.

So... I'd be interested in knowing from you... what was the most momentous occurrence of your life, and how did it change - or NOT change - everything?



CLICK to see larger!!
I'm so excited about my the new cover for Leave It To Cleaver, book #6 of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, which is coming out in JUNE! I don't have pre-sale links yet, but I can tell you that it will be available as an ebook everywhere, and as a print book in trade paperback size from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I hope to have news about an audio book at some point.

To celebrate, I'd love to give away a copy of any past title of my Vintage Kitchen Mysteries!

To enter, comment on the blog post by Midnight, April 23rd, and leave your first name, as well as your email address; yourname (at) yourserver (cot) com is a good format to fool the spam bots.

Entries are welcome from anywhere worldwide; if I have a copy of the book and the entry is from Canada or the United States, I'll send out an autographed copy. But... if I don't have the book, or the entry is from somewhere else, I'll be sending it via the Book Depository, and I'll also send you a signed postcard and bookmark.

And... tell me what you think of my NEW cover?? I'm so excited about it!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New England Spring

By Ruth Clagan, from the Clock Shop Mystery series by Julianne Holmes

Spring in New England is a fickle master of my emotions. I can ignore warm days in February, knowing that they are a gift I need to savor. I know they aren't here to stay, that the water will turn back to ice, that layers of clothes are still my future.
The first warm days in March flirt with me, promising sunny days ahead. But they are a tease, usually followed by snow and sleet. I forge ahead, strong in my belief that winter will end at some point. There are days I lose hope, but time marches on.
April is particularly cruel. The days get longer, and the sun is brighter. The snow starts to melt. For a day, maybe two, a coat is optional. Then a hot day comes. Not warm, hot. Sweat rolling down your back, short wearing, turn-on-the-fans hot. It is glorious. Moira and I paint our toenails, convinced that sandal weather is finally here. Comforters are replaced with summer throws. Wool sweaters are put back in the cedar closet. The winter coat is sent to the dry cleaners. Screens are put halfway down in the windows.
And then April breaks my heart. Tonight it is 39 degrees. Thirty. Nine. Degrees. I am not prepared for this breakup with spring. I zip my lining back into my trench coat. Double check that I have gloves in my pockets. I put an extra blanket back on the bed. The windows are closed again. Wool hats and scarves stay put away, but lighter knits are redeployed. I refuse to turn the heat back on, but nights like tonight I am tempted. Sorely tempted.
If spring is defined as a prolonged stretch of warm weather, it hasn't arrived in Orchard yet. We're two thirds of the way through April.
I may have to hold out for May. May hasn't let me down yet. Spring may only last a few days, but I'm waiting.  In the meantime, I'm sleeping with socks and a sweatshirt on. As long as I can't see my breath, spring is settling in.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Derringer Nominee--That's Me!!

By Luke Flood from the short story “Inquiry and Assistance” by Terrie Farley Moran

 So I guess by now you heard that my cousin, Tommy Flood, got us into quite the escapade, all because Tommy ran into my sister Kathleen and while they were talking, her stuffed shirt boss happened along. Next thing we know Mr. Van Helden hires Tommy to keep an eye on his gorgeous, headstrong daughter. Not the kind of work we would normally do, but with the Depression and all, we did whatever we could to earn a buck. Believe me it gave us quite the look at how the other half lives—and it ain’t always pretty.

Our author Terrie Farley Moran decided to write it all down in a story called “Inquiry and Assistance” so our adventure would never be forgotten. We were gassed when Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine decided to publish it. 

Guys like Tommy and me would have no idea that each year the Short Mystery Fiction Society coordinates the Derringer Awards for short stories. You could've knocked both of us over with a pigeon feather when we found out this year “Inquiry and Assistance” is a nominee for Best Novelette. 

If you want to see for yourself all the fun we had, click over to our author’s website. You’ll find a free link to “Inquiry and Assistance” and you can learn all about those days and nights we spent with the swells. As to the outcome—well you’ll have to read it for yourself.

To celebrate our nomination, our author is giving away a signed copy of the January 2016 issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Yowza! 

To enter, please comment below and tell us how you feel about short stories in general, or “Inquiry and Assistance” in particular. Please include your email in this format: your name (at) your server (dot) com--so the spambots can't pick it up.

Comments close at midnight on Friday, April 21st.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Biscuit Barks Again

by Biscuit, Carrie Kennersly's dog in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries by Linda O. Johnston

Hello.  My name is Biscuit.  I've been here before at Killer Characters, but not for a long time.  I'm a dog, part of Carrie Kennersly's family.  She's the human whose stories are being told in the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries.  

This has been going on for a while.  The third book, BAD TO THE BONE, is going to be published, whatever that is, in May.

All I know is that I've been happy to be hanging out nearly every day in Barkery  and Biscuits, the great shop where Carrie sells dog treats she bakes from recipes she created as a veterinary technician.  It's right next door to her shop where she sells human treats, Icing on the Cake, but I'm not allowed to go into that one.  But the Barkery?  I love her yummy dog treats, and I get to sample them.  A lot. Plus I meet other dogs who are brought in by their people to also get treats, and the more they buy from Carrie, the longer we'll be able to keep the Barkery going, which is fine with me.

One problem, though, is that too many humans seem to be getting killed by other humans in our nice little town of Knobcone Heights.  If that wasn't bad enough, my Carrie keeps getting involved in trying to figure out what nasty human did the killing.  That's partly because the detectives investigating the first murder thought Carrie did it so she had to make sure they learned the truth: it wasn't her.  And that meant she had to prove to them who it was.  And she helped to clear a friend in the second story who was also what humans call falsely accused.

The same kind of thing happens in BAD TO THE BONE, I'm told, to another friend of Carrie's who's thought by those not-so-smart detectives to be the killer, His name is Jack Loroco, and he's visited us a lot of times.  He's a guy who wants to buy recipes from Carrie for some of her best dog treats.  I can understand that.  And I can also understand why the nasty human who works with him, a woman named Wanda Addler, is the person who gets killed. 

Meanwhile, Carrie's holding adoption events for Mountaintop Rescue in the Barkery, and that's the wonderful shelter that saved me so Carrie could adopt me.  Oh, and I want to be sure to mention her brother Neal, who lives with us.  He's a nice guy, and he always calls me "Bug."  I'm not a bug.  Like I said, I'm a dog, and people say I'm a mix between those they call toy poodles and those they call terriers.  I'm gold in color, and my fur is fuzzy. 

And though there are lots of other humans in our lives, I want to particularly mention Dr. Reed Storme, a veterinarian that Carrie sees a lot, even outside the vet clinic where she says she works part time as a vet tech.  I like him, and I even like his dog Hugo, who's bigger than me. 

Anyway, like the last time I barked here, I want to tell you that this latest story of hers is also worth reading, even though I don't know how to read.  But I'm still her friend and protector and treat-sampler.  And you're still invited to stop by our stores and buy people treats for you and dog treats for your best friends.

BAD TO THE BONE, the third Barkery & Biscuits Mystery by Linda O. Johnston, will be a May 2017 release from Midnight Ink.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Lingering Presence

By Chloe Ellefson, Historic Site Curator

From The Chloe Ellefson Mystery Series

By Kathleen Ernst

Not long ago my guy, Roelke McKenna, showed me his old family farm and invited me to move in. I've never seen him happier. Buying the farm was a huge step for him. Reaching this stage in our relationship was a huge step for us.

Knowing I need a certain amount of personal space, Roelke suggested that I use the original cabin on the property as my retreat---somewhere to read or paint or whatever. I adored that idea...until I stepped inside. Lingering in that cabin is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness that punched me in the gut.

I've occasionally sensed such a presence in old buildings since I was a kid. My memories of family vacations are a blur of long car rides and visits to historic sites. Sometimes these creaking places gave me distinct impressions of emotions: joy, sadness, loneliness.

Eventually I got used to tuning the sensations out.  It's not much different than tuning out background chatter when reading in a crowded coffee shop. I also learned not to speak of my impressions.  By the time I decided to enter museum work, it took a real whammy to rattle me.

The old Roelke cabin rattles me.

I hurt Roelke's feelings when I told him that there is something so dark in the building that I can't bear to step inside. I don't know how we can live together if I don't figure out how to get past this.

So I've got some research to do.  The cabin was home to the first Roelkes  to immigrate to Wisconsin, Klaus and Rosina.  

I think the emotion lingering in the cabin was left by Rosina, who lived there the longest. What made her lose all hope?

Can I find the truth, over a century later? And figure out a way to fix the situation? All I know is that I have to try.

* * *

To learn more about this award-winning series, see Kathleen's website.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lethal In Old Lace

Hi, Reagan Summerside here from the Consignment Shop Mysteries. In Lethal in Old Lace it’s spring in Savannah! I know, I know, spring is amazing everywhere it’s a full-out Van Gogh painting here in the South! But that doesn’t mean all is right with the world.

     The Abbott sisters are accused of murder! How can this be? Those two adorable little old ladies who live right next door to me wouldn’t hurt a fly unless that fly named Willie Fishbine just happened to swindle them out of a ton of money. They got sucked them into the great Spring Chicken vitamin scam that was supposed to make everyone feel young again. A great idea but crushed dandelions, wheat germ and a dash of gummy worms just doesn’t do the trick.

     All seemed circumstantial and the sisters were okay until BW...that’s Bruce Willis the canine version and my BFF...went bone hunting and dug up a body in the sisters’ garden and announced his accomplishment by carrying a blue purse covered in dirt right to the head Savannah detective.

     Now I have to try and find the real killer, or the best neighbors
ever will go to jail for a really long time. So far my main suspect is Dexter Thomas. Not only does he own the House of Eternal Slumber mortuary but he wants to by the Sleep Pines retirement home. What better way of driving down the price than knocking off the residents. That’s one way to get the Pines for cheap.

     And there’s Arnett Fisbine who had her eye on her daddy’s money for years and now on a non-stop spending spree. Of course it could also be those two gold-digger gals who married for money and want to get their antiquated husbands into Sleep Pines and need two openings to get them there.

     All this and I’m planning a wedding. Did anything ever run smooth especially a wedding? What was your wedding like? Was it easy to play and did all go according to plan? I need to know what to expect and I sure hope it’s not another dead body. Bye for now...Hugs, Reagan

Consignment Shop Mysteries
Duffy Brown